Orange finds rhythm in 93-65 win over Binghamton

Despite a slow start to the game, SU cruised to its eight straight win this season, thanks to the performances of C.J. Fair, Trevor Cooney, Jerami Grant and Ron Patterson.

Syracuse defeated Binghamton 93-65 Saturday night in a game that saw production from old and new faces. C.J. Fair paced the No. 4 Orange (9-0) with 19 points, followed by Trevor Cooney, who poured in 17. But freshman Ron Patterson provided an unexpected contribution, scoring a career-high 10 points.

Photo: Ziniu Chen
SU's DaJuan Coleman goes up for a lay-up during Saturday night's victory against Binghamton. Coleman finished with 13 points in the game.

The Bearcats (2-7) jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the game’s first four minutes, but the Orange used an 18-0 run in the ensuing 3:43 to regain the lead, and never looked back. Syracuse used an effective full court press, causing 18 Bearcat turnovers. The Orange turned those extra possessions into 34 points.

“I thought Ronnie was good, he was active,” Jim Boeheim said of his freshman guard. Patterson was especially active on the offensive end, with 12 field goal attempts and four offensive rebounds.

Cooney said he had spoken to Patterson about being prepared despite his limited playing time (4.2 minutes per game), and was proud of his teammate for making the most of his opportunity.

“I was talking with Ron about just being ready and working hard and keep waiting for your moment because it’s going to come,” Cooney said of Patterson. “He took full advantage of it today and he was great.”

Patterson’s 10 points nearly doubled the total of six he had going into the game. However, he hit only four of his 12 shots from the field, something his coach is trying to live with.

“Some days he shoots it really good in practice, and some days he can’t hit the rim,” Boeheim said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a player quite to the extremes he gets to, even within the game. He makes a nice three, and the next one’s lucky if it’s still in the Dome.”

Patterson said he has been working on his shooting with assistant coach Gerry McNamara. Still, he echoed Boeheim’s thoughts on his inconsistency.

“I’m making progress,” Patterson said. “I can have a day I won’t miss and a day I’ll miss everything.”

Fair and Cooney, on the other hand, were rather efficient, combining to shoot 51.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Fair struggled a bit early, missing the rim entirely on two shots, before finishing strong.

“I shot a couple air balls but coach told me to be aggressive and as a player that feels good,” Fair said. “Once I saw a couple shots go in I got in a rhythm and then I kept being aggressive.”

Cooney continued his season-long streak of good shooting from distance, hitting five three-pointers for the second game in a row and four of his last five contests.

“I’m just staying positive, staying confident,” Cooney said. “When teammates are setting good screens for you and finding you in open spots you just have to let it go, and it’s easy from there.”

Fair said Cooney’s shooting has been a sparkplug for the team and opens up the floor for everyone else.

“Trevor got hot from the three and that got us some momentum,” Fair said. “For him to be consistent from the three-point line is big for our team. It keeps the defense honest, he stretches the floor out a lot.”

Syracuse has a week off, and will play again December 15 against old Big East foe St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.

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